5 Summer Skincare Secrets You NEED to Know

5 Summer Skincare Secrets You NEED to Know

Written by Founder, Amir Karam MD

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I've dedicated my career to the science of skincare and the art of facial rejuvenation. I understand the deep connection between how we look and how we feel, and I believe that taking care of our skin aligns with maintaining our health and vitality as we age. 

As summer approaches, it ushers in longer, sunnier days, accompanied by the dual challenges of intensified sunlight and increased UV exposure. This calls for a proactive approach to skincare to avoid common mistakes or oversights that could compromise your skin's health and undo the progress you've made in your skincare journey.


So here are five essential skincare tips–my secrets to summer success–to ensure you enjoy your time outdoors without jeopardizing your skin's health. These strategies are designed not just to protect, but also to rejuvenate your skin during these warmer, sunnier months, keeping you looking and feeling your best.

01.

Sun Protection 101

Sun protection is essential year-round, particularly for anti-aging skincare, but it becomes even more crucial during the summer months. Understanding and implementing proper sun protection is vital. With the sun at its peak, and outdoor activities more frequent, the risk of skin damage increases significantly.

The sun's UV rays are a major factor in accelerating the signs of aging.

These rays degrade the collagen and elastin that keep our skin looking firm and youthful, and overexposure to UV radiation contributes to wrinkles, sagging skin, and sunspots. Without adequate protection, premature aging is much more likely.

While most are aware of the need for sunscreen during prolonged exposure, like a day at the pool, many other important sun protection strategies are frequently overlooked.

Here are some key recommendations that I want to make sure you are equipped with when it comes to sun protection coverage:

  • Daily Use of SPF 30 or Higher: Every single day you should be using sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30, which blocks about 97% of UVB rays.
  • Look for Broad-Spectrum Protection: Always use a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection to ensure you are protected against UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin and are primarily responsible for premature aging, while UVB rays cause sunburn.
  • Don't Fall for Sunscreens Above SPF 50: Regulatory bodies in some regions cap SPF ratings at 50 to prevent a false sense of security. SPF 50 will block 98% of UV rays, and nothing can block 100%. There isn’t much difference between SPF 50 or 100 - it is more important to make sure you have broad-spectrum protection and proper application.
  • Learn Proper Facial Application: For your face, you need about as much sunscreen as the size of an almond. It is best to apply it in two layers to help cover any spots missed in the first application.
  • Don't Forget Reapplication: No matter what the SPF is, sunscreen should be reapplied approximately every two hours, or more often if you are swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Many people apply sunscreen once and forget about reapplication, which diminishes its effectiveness as it degrades in the sun.
  • Choose Physical/Mineral Options: Especially if you have sensitive skin, look for sunscreens with physical blockers like Zinc oxide or Titanium dioxide, which are less likely to cause skin irritation than chemical ingredients. These minerals act as a physical barrier against the sun and also provide immediate protection, where chemical sunscreen needs time to activate.
  • Not Just for Sunny Days / Outdoors Only: Sunscreen should be worn on overcast days as well, since up to 80% of UV rays can pass through clouds. UVA rays can also pass through windows- so if you are sitting indoors near windows or driving, you still need protection. This is a commonly overlooked aspect, as many assume sunscreen is only needed when they are outside on bright, sunny days.
  • Don't Rely Solely on SPF in Make-Up: Makeup with SPF often does not provide adequate coverage or water resistance and is often not applied thickly or evenly enough to offer full protection. Consider your make-up an additional layer of defense rather than the sole source of sun protection.
  • Lip Protection: Lips can also suffer from sunburn. Use a lip balm with SPF protection to guard against UV rays. The skin on our lips is thinner and more delicate than the rest of our body, making it highly susceptible to sunburn. Don’t forget ears, neck, chest, hands, and feet which are also often neglected.
  • Check Expiration Dates: Sunscreens have expiration dates and lose their efficacy over time. Always check the date on the bottle to ensure effective protection.

Additionally, wearing a hat and other protective clothing if you are outdoors for an extended time to reinforce sun protection is a good habit to get in, and invest in some UV-protective sunglasses to further shield the delicate skin around your eyes.

Adhering to these recommendations can significantly enhance your anti-aging efforts by providing better protection against the sun's harmful effects. 

02.

Don’t Take a Break from Active Ingredients in the Summer

Certain active ingredients in skincare products can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, increasing the risk of irritation, redness, or serious sunburn, and for that reason, some people choose to stop using certain active ingredients like Retinol during the summer.

However, it's really important to stay consistent with your active ingredients, without stopping and restarting, to maintain progress toward your skincare goals. 

Stopping them abruptly can slow down these benefits and might lead to a regression in your skin’s overall health and condition.

That's why I designed the Trifecta skincare line to contain innovative active ingredients that are different than traditional active ingredients:

  • Trifecta’s active ingredients are carefully moderated for sun exposure: Meaning you can safely wear it daily, without putting your skincare routine on hold in the summer. 
  • The Retinol in Illuminate is encapsulated and time-released: You get a more subtle dose released slowly into your skin twice a day, rather than a single heavy dose, which is what can lead to sensitivity, especially if you are spending time in the sun afterward.
  • Illuminate is specifically intended for day-time use: The Retinol in Illuminate won’t degrade or cause photosensitivity like other Retinol products due to its unique formulation.
  • All of the ingredients in Trifecta have been designed to work harmoniously with one another and mitigate negative effects: While a traditional full-strength Retinol or Vitamin C might cause increased sensitivity, the actives in Trifecta are balanced alongside other protective, soothing, and hydrating ingredients to specifically eliminate the risk of irritation.

The unique formulation of Trifecta's active ingredients ensures that you can maintain your skincare routine throughout the summer without any concerns. This specially designed blend continues to work effectively on your skin despite any seasonal challenges, meaning you can continue to achieve your skincare objectives consistently, even during the summer months. 

This should not be a secret anymore: don’t give up your actives in the summer! 

Stick with your daily routine. Continue progressing towards healthier, more radiant skin without interruptions or setbacks.

With Trifecta, you can enjoy the sunny days with safe, gentle, trusted products on hand, knowing that it has been specifically formulated for you to have hassle-free skincare success, all year long!

03.

Beware of Overly-Harsh Exfoliants & Be Cautious with Treatments

Regular exfoliation is essential to maintain smooth and clear skin, and becomes even more important in the summer as it removes dead skin cells that can clog pores due to increased sweat and oil production.

However, the type of exfoliating treatment you choose in the summer matters significantly.

Exfoliants containing high concentrations of acids, like AHAs or BHAs, can lead to skin irritation when exposed to the sun, and there are several reasons why you might consider avoiding or modifying your in-office exfoliation treatments during the summer for similar reasons:

  • Increased Photosensitivity: AHAs/BHAs and in-office treatments can significantly increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun. This heightened sensitivity can lead to a higher risk of sunburn, premature aging, and other forms of sun damage.
  • Revealing New, Vulnerable Skin: AHAs, in particular, remove the outer layer of dead skin cells, exposing fresh skin that is more vulnerable to UV radiation. The same goes for summer prejuventaion treatments like chemical peels, lasers or other treatments that remove the top layer of skin. The new skin is going to be very sensitive to sun. SPF is crucial.
  • Potential for Irritation: During summer, the combination of intense sunlight, high temperatures, sweat, humidity, increased pollution from being outdoors more, and chemicals from sunscreen, do not pair well with healing skin. If you choose chemical exfoliation or in-office treatments in the summer, be sure to avoid these potential irritants that can lead to inflammation. You don't want to put yourself at risk for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which happens if the skin gets irritated or sun damaged while healing.
  • Compromised Skin Barrier: Frequent use of chemical exfoliants and exfoliation treatments can compromise the skin’s natural barrier. A compromised barrier in the summer can be more problematic due to environmental stressors like higher UV levels, chlorine from swimming pools, and saltwater, which can further irritate and dry out the skin.

Always make sure you support your skin barrier after exfoliation treatments with products like Enrich Breathable Barrier Balm to restore, nurture, and protect your skin barrier, and of course, protect your fresh complexion with proper sun protection.

And, instead of harsh chemical exfoliants, opt for something more nurturing to your skin, like Polish Enzymatic Exfoliator from KaramMD. 

Polish is designed to remove dead skin cells naturally, using fruit enzymes to gently dissolve bonds between dead skin cells and then carefully buffing them away using soft, ultra-fine powders.

Polish helps to boost your natural glow and clear your skin without disturbing your natural skin barrier, nor will it put you at risk for setback in your skincare journey.


04.

Important Function of Antioxidants in Summer Skincare

Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental stressors: UV radiation, pollution, smoke, blue light, ozone, etc.

Antioxidants are your skin’s superhero when it comes to protection, especially in the summer.

While sunscreen is essential to block UV radiation, antioxidants provide a secondary line of defense, and when combined with sunscreen can help to enhance its effectiveness. 

These powerful skincare companions not only help protect your skin, but also repair and revitalize skin health by stimulating collagen production, brightening skin tone, and protecting the skin barrier to keep your complexion looking rejuvenated and youthful. 

  • Protect Against Environmental Damage: Antioxidants like Vitamins C and E, and Green Tea extract (all found in Trifecta) help to protect skin cells from damage caused by UV radiation and pollution. They neutralize free radicals, reducing their potential to cause harm.
  • Reduce Redness: Many antioxidants have soothing properties, reducing irritation and calming the skin. This is particularly beneficial during the summer when heat and sun exposure can increase redness and puffiness in the skin.
  • Prevent Signs of Aging: By mitigating the impact of oxidative stress, antioxidants help prevent the signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, and skin laxity. UV exposure, which increases significantly in the summer, accelerates these signs, making antioxidants even more essential.
  • Counteract UV Damage: Even with the use of sunscreen, some UV radiation can penetrate the skin. Antioxidants help to mitigate the cellular damage that this exposure can cause.
  • Boost Photoprotection: When combined with sunscreen, antioxidants can provide an additional layer of defense, reducing the likelihood of sunburn and other photo-induced damage.
  • Maintain Skin Health: With higher temperatures and more time spent outdoors, skin is more susceptible to dehydration and irritation. Antioxidants can help strengthen the skin’s barrier and improve its ability to retain moisture.

All three products that make up the Trifecta are rich in antioxidants

Antioxidants in Apple Amino Acids and Arnica are found in Rinse Daily Cleanser, alongside a powerfully packed Quench Viitamin C Serum, which also contains Green Tea Extract, and Licorice Root, combined with Niacinamide, Vitamin C and Vitamin E in Illuminate Anti-Aging Cream, Trifecta is an excellent potent antioxidant summer skincare regimen.

Apply Trifecta every morning under your sunscreen for extra support against sun damage.

Integrating antioxidants into your skincare routine through Trifecta is already a smart summer skincare hack as it is, but enhancing your routine with an added boost of Vitamin C in Polish Enzymatic Exfoliator, and topping it off with our Enrich Breathable Barrier Balm will take it to the next level.

Enrich is supercharged with a highly beneficial antioxidant, Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is considered a super-antioxidant and is included as part of the KaramMD family for its potential to support the skin's natural defense against environmental stressors and reverse oxidative stress, which ages the skin.

With Trifecta + Polish and Enrich, you can be sure that your skincare routine is going beyond just anti-aging effects, but it also contributes directly to the overall health and vitality of the skin, offering added protection and support to bolster your skin's strength and resilience against summer-specific environmental stresses.

05.

Stay Hydrated – Inside and Out

Hydration is key in summer. High temperatures and increased sun exposure can dehydrate your skin, leading to a dull and dry appearance.

A well-hydrated skin not only looks healthier but is also more resilient to environmental stresses.

Healthy skin starts from within, so some simple tips I use to stay hydrated are:

  • Have Water With You All the Time: Carry a reusable water bottle can keep track of your daily intake and ensure that water is always handy.
  • Infuse Your Water: If you find plain water boring, try adding slices of fruits like lemon, lime, cucumber, or berries. This adds flavor naturally without the need for sugary additives.
  • Eat Water-Rich Foods: Incorporate fruits and vegetables with high water content into your diet. Watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, lettuce, and celery are great choices that help increase hydration.
  • Monitor Hydration Levels: In extreme heat or during long bouts of exercise, you might also need to replenish electrolytes. Coconut water or electrolyte-infused waters can be good options.
  • Schedule Drinking Reminders: Set reminders on your phone or computer to take regular sips of water, especially if you are busy or tend to forget to drink.
  • Avoid the Hottest Part of the Day: Plan your outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon when the temperature is cooler. This can help prevent excessive sweating and dehydration.

In addition to your water intake, you also need to take care of your skin’s outer hydration as well. 

Look for hydrating skincare ingredients like Illuminate’s Sodium Hyaluronate (extracted from Hyaluronic Acid), which can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, providing deep and lasting hydration. 

Enrich Balm is another summer skincare secret weapon when it comes to hydration. This rich, nourishing balm works to deeply moisturize the skin, while also preventing your body’s water loss while you sleep

By morning, your skin is softer, rejuvenated, and more resilient, ready to face another day under the sun. And, if you happen to get a little too sun-soaked, Enrich is formulated to restore dry and damaged skin, repairing wear and tear of the day.

Trifecta is Your Year-Round Skincare Ally

You don’t need to over-complicate your skincare this summer. 

With Trifecta, you can continue to use the same routine year-round. It contains all of the ingredients you need to help mitigate the stresses of summer, including sun-safe Retinol, soothing and hydrating supporting ingredients, and powerful antioxidants within each of its core three products–Rinse, Quench, and Illuminate

With the additions of Polish and Enrich to keep your skin refreshed and rejuvenated, KaramMD offers all that you need to get the most out of your summer skincare so you continue to stay healthy, hydrated, protected, and radiant all summer long.

By following these simple tips– comprehensive sun protection, continuous use of active ingredients, gentle exfoliation, protecting your skin with antioxidants, and staying thoroughly hydrated–you will be able to enjoy the beautiful weather responsibly, and see it reflected in your glowing complexion!

Have a fantastic summer!

Amir Karam MD

Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Founder / Creator of KaramMD Skin

Dr. Amir Karam is a renowned facial cosmetic surgeon and an authority in his field. With over two decades of experience helping patients achieve a younger, refreshed appearance. In addition to surgical procedures that sculpt a youthfully-defined facial shape, Dr. Karam takes the quality of the skin into account.

2 comments

Tova Szporn

Very informative
What’s your newest addition to the trifecta line? A balm ??

Sylvie Gales

Dr. Karam I am using your Trifecta morning and nite plus the polish and enrich. The polis I use once a week not too often thx so much for your help. Sylvie Gales.

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